10 Times That ABC’s Scandal Changed TV as We Knew It

After 7 twist-filled seasons, Shonda Rhimes’ groundbreaking drama signs off tonight

Editor: Breana Mallamaci
Headshot of Jason Lynch

From the moment that Scandal debuted on April 5, 2012, the series immediately distinguished itself from every other show on television. Kerry Washington, who stars on the ABC drama as Washington D.C. “fixer” Olivia Pope, became the first African-American female lead of a broadcast drama since 1974’s Get Christie Love, which featured Teresa Graves.

For the next seven seasons, the show kept upending TV’s status quo, as every episode was packed with jaw-dropping twists, each more shocking than the last. But the series was just as influential behind the camera, as Scandal changed the rules for social media and live tweeting, helped usher in ABC’s #TGIT block of Thursday night dramas produced by Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes and became the rare show to conclude on its own terms. “I feel like in order to tell the story correctly, you have to end it,” Rhimes told Adweek in 2015.

Watch as Adweek looks back at the 10 times the show changed television as we knew it.


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
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